This Week in the Metaverse: Virtual Reality for Surgical Patients, Kraken CEO Steps Down

This Week in the Metaverse: Virtual Reality for Surgical Patients, Kraken CEO Steps Down

Things are moving fast in the metaverse and the wider world of Web3 as a whole. Here’s what you need to know from the past week:

Mark Zuckerg’s net worth has fallen about 71% so far in 2022, according to Bloomberg. His new report details how much Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent spending in the Metaverse has cost the company — and himself personally. Zuck would now be the 20th richest person in the world, a position he has not held since 2014. He was the third richest person in the world in September 2021, according to Bloomberg, when his net worth peaked at 142 billions of dollars.

Shortly after hitting that peak, in October 2021, Zuckerberg’s company changed its name to Meta and began investing primarily in software and hardware for the metaverse – essentially making a calculated bet that it would be the next frontier. major technology. Generally speaking, things have gone downhill for Meta and Zuckerberg since then. Meta’s share price has fallen 57% since the start of 2022, according to the Bloomberg report, far more than the declines suffered by some other industry leaders like Amazon and Apple (much of the industry suffered financially this year).

Zuckerberg has tried to be transparent with investors that his company’s pivot to the metaverse will require short-term financial losses to achieve long-term success. But time will tell how patient investors are willing to be.

VR may reduce need for anesthesia during surgery, study shows


Who needs an IV when you have virtual reality? According to a new study, patients who undergo surgery while immersed in virtual reality will likely require a lesser amount of anesthesia.

The study – published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One – involved 34 patients, all of whom were receiving elective hand surgery. Half the group went into the surgery behind VR headsets, which displayed calming natural landscapes or played guided meditations, while the other half (the control group) entered without a VR headset.

The study organizers then tracked the amount of propofol (an anesthetic) requested by members of both groups, eventually finding that the VR group requested significantly less than their non-VR counterparts. “Despite receiving significantly less intraoperative propofol sedation, patients in the VR group showed no significant differences from patients in the usual care group in self-reported ratings of pain, relaxation, ‘anxiety or overall satisfaction,’ the study authors wrote. It was also noted that the members of the VR group “were fired from PACU [Post-Anesthetic Care Unit] 22 minutes earlier than control patients.

A recent Meta ad predicted that VR headsets could eventually help doctors perform surgery on virtual patients, theoretically reducing risk when they enter the real world.

Embattled Kraken CEO resigns

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Jess Powell, co-founder and managing director of Kraken, has officially stepped down. Kraken – currently the second-largest crypto exchange in the US and the fourth-largest in the world, according to crypto industry tracker CoinMarketCap – has posted a “leadership succession plan” on its site Web earlier this week, in which he said Powell would remain with the company as chairman of the board, to be replaced as chief executive by Dave Ripley, the company’s former chief operating officer.

Powell was embroiled in a dispute with some Kraken employees earlier this year over his views on the use of preferred pronouns and differences in intelligence levels between men and women, according to The New York Times. Some employees would then have chosen to leave the company. It was also recently revealed that the Treasury Department is investigating Kraken for allegedly violating US sanctions.

Twitch cracks down on crypto-gaming livestreams

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After being criticized by some viewers and streamers for its reluctance to take action against crypto gambling live streams on its platform, Twitch decided to take action. On Tuesday, the popular streaming platform announced in a statement posted on Twitter that it would ban the live streaming of gaming sites that use crypto assets from its platform, starting October 18. , roulette or dice games that are not permitted in the United States or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection,” the statement said. Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Roobet.com and Duelbets.com were specifically called out. The statement also indicates that other platforms will likely be identified and banned in the future. “We will continue to allow websites focused on sports betting, fantasy sports and poker,” the statement said.

Dogecoin is now the second largest proof-of-work cryptocurrency

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For a cryptocurrency that started out as a joke, Dogecoin has come a long way. After Ethereum concluded its historic merger last week – moving from a proof-of-work (PoW) system to a much more environmentally-friendly proof-of-stake (PoS) system – Dogecoin has become the second largest PoW cryptocurrency in the world by market cap (after Bitcoin), according to data from CoinMarketCap. It currently has the tenth largest market capitalization of any cryptocurrency.

Dogecoin was founded in 2013 as an ironic meme-based cryptocurrency. Starting in 2019, it became a social media darling of serial entrepreneur and world’s richest person Elon Musk, causing the coin’s popularity and value to periodically increase. Despite its current high rank, the current “crypto winter” has caused the value of Dogecoin to drop more than 90% since its last peak in May 2021.

$160 million stolen in Wintermute hack

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Crypto market maker Wintermute was hacked earlier this week resulting in around $160 million in crypto assets being stolen, according to a tweet from the company’s founder and CEO, Evgeny Gaevoy. “We are solvent with twice that amount in equity,” he said in a follow-up tweet. He also said the company’s centralized finances and over-the-counter operations were unaffected by the hack.

Gaevoy ended his series of tweets with a request to the hacker (or hackers): “We are (always) open to treating this as a white hat, so if you are the attacker, contact us.”

The Wintermute hack is the latest in a recent string of cyberattacks targeting the crypto industry. In August, hackers stole millions of dollars worth of crypto from the Solana network. Earlier in the same week, around $200 million was stolen from the Nomad crypto bridge platform.

Ricky Williams’ cannabis brand moves into the metaverse

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NFL legend Ricky Williams is bringing his cannabis brand Highsman (a play on “Heisman”) to virtual reality. Described by the brand as “the first true virtual reality sports and cannabis experience”, the new virtual space – called the “Highsman House” – will kick off with a Monday Night Football viewing party on September 26. A virtual dispensary will also be available. .

Highsman isn’t the only cannabis brand looking to capitalize on the metaverse lately. In May, for example, Cannaverse Technologies launched Cannaland, a virtual space where customers can both buy and learn about cannabis.

New NFT offers perks at Bad Bunny, Jack Harlow and Post Malone concerts

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Web3 brand Dancing Seahorse Labs announced the Dancing Seahorse NFT strike on Tuesday. Legendary Token holders will enjoy “exclusive suite access and memorable concert experiences” at upcoming concerts by Bad Bunny, Jack Harlow and Post Malone.

Typing is one of the latest examples of how the web3, and in particular NFTs, have transformed the music industry. In addition to opening the door to exclusive events and perks, NFTs are also used by some artists as a way to achieve a higher degree of financial independence.

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